Original U.S. WWII USAAF Named Officer OD Green Crush Cap by Craddock of Kansas City

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This visor cap, in winter OD Green issue color, is in very good condition with the iconic "crush" shape. The leather sweatband is supple and complete and the underside of the crown bears a label marked The House of The Craddock Kansas City, MO. The sweatband also features and gold wash embossed The Craddock Uniforms Kansas City, MO maker name. There is a name tag stitched into the celluloid sweat shield that reads JACK LINDEMAN. We believe this was the hat of Colonel Jack R. Lindeman who joined the Army Air Corps in 1943, and subsequently had a successful career in the US Air Force, flying heavy aircraft for over 30 years. This peaked cap features a gold tone WWII Army Overseas insignia over a leather visor. The cap is in size 6 7/8. The cap is of the highest quality and in excellent condition. The leather visor and chin strap are in excellent condition, as is the sweatband.

This is the classic "bomber pilot" headgear, worn by USAAF pilots in Europe and the Pacific. Actually, this was the standard Army/AAF officer dress cap, worn by pilots and non-pilots alike, but pilots gave this cap their own unique twist. Normally, this cap had stiffeners -- a support piece behind the cap device and a wire around the inside top perimeter to maintain the cap's round shape. These kept the cap in its proper, regulation military shape and angle. However, since bomber pilots wore headsets over their caps during flights, they would remove the wire stiffener to make headset wear more comfortable, causing the sides of the caps to become crushed. Eventually, the caps retained their floppy "crushed" look, giving the pilot who wore it the look of a seasoned veteran.

The crush cap identified its wearer as an experienced pro, and was as much a part of his identity as his leather flight jacket. The crush cap look quickly became popular with ground army officers and general officers.

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